Just one short year ago, on May 20, 2012 at 8:30am, we welcomed you into our family. The days awaiting your arrival were filled with anxiety and discouragement, but you came quickly enough once you were ready and settled into our family like you were always meant to be there.
Those early weeks were filled with the highs and lows of any new baby, plus all the added complexities of getting to know what it’s like to be in a family of 4, where you’re not the only baby in the house. You have happily come along for the ride as we cart you around to all your big brother’s activities. Thankfully, it turns out you are of a very similar disposition and love being out seeing people and new places. You always have a waiting smile on your face to flirt with people or beam at your favourite friends.
Your newborn days are a blur now of breastfeeding struggles, a lack of sleep and the crazy schedule of 2 kids. I wish I had more time to go back and gaze at your beautiful sweet face. Sadly, the time has flown by and you are a one year old now, on the verge of walking and attempting new words every day. Your vocabulary of words is in the dozens now, though perhaps only a select few can be understood by others.
Once you pick up a skill, whether it was sleeping or eating solids or talking or your scooting bum crawl, you charge ahead and never look back. I love that about you. You express a confidence in all things that shines out with an “I’ve got this mom, it’s all good.” Even now at night when I give you your kiss as you smirk at me with your thumb in your mouth and then give you your milk, you give me one last big grin and roll away from me, asking to go in your crib to put yourself to sleep – Mr. Independent through and through.
Your bright brown eyes are always on the move, searching the world. Your finger is at the ready to point to things you want to touch and explore and you want more than anything to be set free to see them on your own terms. You are outgoing and social and daring – always on the go. You love nature – sand, rocks, flowers, grass, trees and most particularly water. You are not afraid to express your enthusiasm for the things that you love (especially food), though you are more than happy to quietly and seriously observe at other times.
You have an amazing future ahead of you. I hope you continue to charge at the world to get what you want. At one year old, you are already a strong and courageous spark of a boy and I can see glimmers of the man you will grow to be. I will continue to stand at your side all through your life, offering a hand if you ever want to take it, though I know one day soon you will walk on your own, looking back to say, “I’ve got this mom, it’s ok.”
Happy Birthday my Damien!
Damien started “crawling” at a week past 9 months… except, his way of moving isn’t really crawling, it’s actually bum scooting. As soon as he learned how to go from his tummy to the seated position, he absolutely refused to do tummy time. Although he’d been previously rocking up on his knees for a while, he would skip straight to sitting instead, once he learned that. I was frustrated that he’d never learn to crawl!
Thankfully, he found his own way to be mobile. One day, he put up his foot and pulled himself forward a little bit and he hasn’t looked back. His movement was painfully slow in the beginning, and limited in range for a week or two, but he’s building up both speed and confidence as he goes. Yes, it is very funny to watch him scoot around this way! I love it when he decides to play catch with himself, chasing after a ball.
Damien Bum Scooting from Ianiv Schweber on Vimeo.
With his newfound mobility, Damien is growing less fussy, no longer needing to be held to stand all the time, and is exploring the world on his own terms. He’s much more independent. Of course, this comes with a price and my days of running errands are over – he wants to get down and play, not run errands!
Damien is 9 months old now, which suddenly seems quite close to 1 year old! Yikes! My little man has changed a lot this month and, though his lack of crawling is making me frustrated, he continues to amaze me in so many ways. You should see Damien play catch, it’s amazing!
- Weight 19lbs 11oz
- Has 3 teeth, his upper right lateral incisor poking through today
- Still just a fuzzy head
- Is just transitioning to 2 naps per day (the morning nap finally getting longer than 40 minutes too, hopefully that holds!)
- Slept his first 12 hour night without a dreamfeed last night
- Favourite foods: yam rolls, garlic bread, chicken, bread with cream cheese, yogurt, cooked blueberries, applesauce, pancakes
- Has more picky foods than before. Happily rejects / spits out food he doesn’t feel like. Foods he’s most likely to reject are cheese, grapes, banana, avocado (love/hate with it)
- Perfected his pincer grip for eating
- Can pull to stand from a lap or slightly raised seated surface
- Can go from tummy to knees to seated position, though often forgets this when frustrated
- Can turn around in circles on tummy and move backwards a little bit
- Cruises the furniture in a slow shuffle, going around objects. Holds on with one hand or balances body against edge of furniture
- Plays catch. Grabs the ball with his legs to catch it, lifts it and throws it. Will throw large balls two-handed in an overhand throw. Can throw smaller balls one-handed in an overhand throw. Throws are quite powerful.
- Most common baby sign (he has 7): all done. Uses it all the time.
- Can clap, wave, give a high five, lift a scarf over his face to play Peek-A-Boo
- Words: mama, mum mum (cracker), ball (baah), done (dum), boop (book), Oma
- New sounds: baa, bat, a-da-ba, wawa, shh, um, dum, bum, adum
- Started swimming lessons: finds it cold. Enjoys the hot tub.
- Favorite activities: play catch, standing, the swing, sand (not averse to putting it in his mouth), Gymboree, circle time, playing with Aiden in any way, tunnels / tents / parachute time
- Favorite book: I love you through and through, and Tails. Loves to read, particularly books that involve a lot of customizations (kisses, tickles, songs, etc). No interest in Mother Goose. Will slam a book closed if he doesn’t like it. Can turn pages.
It’s only been in the last week or so that Damien has made progress in self-feeding. Though he’s been eating solids for a while now, he usually is in quite a rush to eat: “OMG food, give it to me NOW!” As such, he hasn’t had much motivation to move from his fisting to practice his pincer grip.
In the last week or so, he’s been making more progress by feeding himself toast strips, something he finally has a little bit of patience to attempt. He has already passed the stage where MumMums are good, and even is kind of so-so about Heinz teething biscuits already, but toast with peanut butter or cream cheese seems to keep his attention. He’s able to take bites (with his 2 mini teeth) and to shove pieces into his mouth, if they are in danger of falling out. He coos like crazy, so proud of his achievement!
Damien learned to sit up one day after he was 6 months old. Although he spent most of the previous month almost sitting, he wasn’t solid about it until that day. He would sit for a few seconds and tip to the side or his legs would get rigid and he’d tip over. He was apt to fall over if he looked to the side or was distracted. The day before he learned to sit, he fell down twice when I wasn’t there to catch him (oh, the joys of having 2 kids) and I swear that’s what helped him ‘clue in’. Who knows, though?
First time sitting solid on his own
Still, having a sitting child makes things so much easier. He can play with toys in a whole new way, which is nice to reduce his fussiness, and can be put down when I’m doing things like getting us all ready to go somewhere or attending to Aiden in the bathroom.
Of course, this means that Damien spends less time on his back or tummy, so he doesn’t do as much rolling or tummy time as he probably should. His best tummy time is at Gymboree where he’s distracted by so much. :)